: Amanda Photographic

How to Tour Central Oregon Farms and Ranches

These High Desert Food Trail spots share their bounty where the food is grown.
April 8, 2024

From locally grown vegetables to pasture-raised meats and dairy products, you can be sure you’ll find a farm in Central Oregon where you can take a tour to see how your food is produced.  The spring, summer and autumn months offer seasonal bounty in this community of farms and ranches, many of which are featured on the High Desert Food Trail, a self-guided agricultural and culinary tour featuring dozens of food-related businesses throughout Central Oregon. Here are some of our favorites.

Jars of preserved food on display, with a blue ribbon prize from Crook Country Fair.
L & S Farm and Garden, courtesy of Amanda Photographic

Learn Farm Skills and Chat With Farmers

Kick off the season at L & S Farm and Garden in Prineville, where master food preserver Linda Stephenson teaches workshops ranging from garden planning and soil health in spring to canning and dehydrating during harvest time. While you’re there, visit the farm’s herd of extremely cute Southdown Babydoll sheep. 

At Well Rooted Farms in Redmond from July to October, you can pick your own flowers and vegetables and learn about how a farm integrated with diverse products operates. Owners Frank and Janelle Maricle raise hogs, beef cattle, laying hens and row upon row of colorful vegetables. They sell their meats and vegetables through farm-share programs and year-round, self-serve farm stands. 

During the main growing season between May and September, take a self-guided tour of farmers markets to chat with growers about their products. Check out the Redmond Farmers Market on Thursdays, the Sisters Farmers Market on Sundays and the Bend Farmers Market on Wednesdays. Open year-round, Central Oregon Locavore in Bend offers a farmers market shopping experience indoors and stocks all kinds of locally produced foods and farm products.

A young girl bottle feeding a calf.
Courtesy of Hope Springs Dairy

Give Some Love to Farm Animals

Schedule a morning tour at Windy Acres Dairy & Creamery in Prineville to be there while the staff are milking their small herd of Jersey, Guernsey and Holstein cows. Visitors can try the raw-milk cheeses and farmstead dairy products like yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, milk and butter, and buy products as part of a farm share program. Deliveries are available to Portland, Bend, Redmond and Ashland.

Farmers Lysa and Jeff Severson started off as hobby farmers, but now, much to the delight of fans of Hope Springs Dairy in Bend, they welcome visitors to see their commercial operation. The family hosts hands-on ticketed farm tours where visitors can feed the cows, milk the goats, and even bottle-feed baby animals while learning how a small dairy farm works. 

DD Ranch in Terrebonne regularly welcomes visitors to events like its Easter egg hunt in spring and pumpkin patch in fall. It’s the perfect farm tour for kids, with activities like a seasonal corn maze, hay rides and a petting zoo. The farm also sells 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, heritage pork, free-range eggs, and honey. 

Stop and stroll the path between the pastures at Crescent Moon Ranch in Terrebonne, where you can visit with a herd of impossibly soft and sweet alpacas and, for a small fee, hand-feed them too. The on-farm shop focuses on local goods, souvenirs and alpaca sweaters. Pro tip: Visit at the end of the day and you can watch the herd excitedly return to the barn for the evening.

A woman smiling holding up a tray of salads on a farm restaurant.
Rainshadow Organics, courtesy of Javan Ward/ 29NRTH

Enjoy Garden-Fresh Meals and Stay at a Ranch

Enjoy a multicourse meal on a farm made entirely from seasonal products at Rainshadow Organics. The multicourse dinners showcase whatever the farm is harvesting that week, which often includes organic produce, grains and pasture-raised meats, from October through May. Before or after the meal, guests are welcome to wander the farm for a self-guided walking tour of the 2-acre garden. Seed to Table Oregon in Sisters also offers farm tours by appointment June through August and an annual dinner each fall; call ahead to check on volunteer opportunities.

Spend a few days in country bliss at Wine Down Ranch in Prineville, a 2,100-acre working cattle ranch alongside the Ochoco National Forest. The ranch welcomes guests year-round to its lodgings, which include a tiny house, a bunkhouse and campsites. It also sells beef raised on the property. Overnight guests can take self-guided tours of the property — including feeding carrots and apples to horses — or spend their vacation bird-watching, hiking and mountain biking, as well as cross-country skiing during the winter season.

About The

Emily Teel
Emily Teel is a senior food editor at Better Homes & Gardens magazine and writes about food through the lens of both agriculture and dining for outlets both local and national. A McMinnville resident and an avid forager, she loves exploring Oregon's hiking trails and pick-your-own farms in all seasons.

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